New Year Renewal

Swami Ambikananda liked his devotees to renew their spiritual lives at the start of each year. On 1 January 1996 he visited our house in Lincolnshire, accompanied by Satchitananda. Nearly twelve months had passed since his near fatal heart attack, and he now sounded stronger as he spoke about the recent kirtan at Atmananda’s house in Newbury:  ‘Kirtan is not a joke,’ he told us.  ‘God comes down and watches…’.

Ambikananda had brought a video of the last kirtan which he had edited and expanded. ‘A straightforward sacrifice to start the year,’ he called it. ‘If you want to watch a tape and start the new year that way, it might help you unlock the gate of the year… That’s the main purpose why we have come. I’ve condensed a lot, I have joined together many videos. Watching something from previous time has changed my life just before Christmas, so I have gone very much into Hinduism…

‘We can make a lifelong change with just one word we say to someone … But you have to work for your wages, you can’t bribe. Experience is a grace. We don’t ask for all these things, but by giving myself I get so much unwanted knowledge, even about the body, because of my dedication. But I’m not looking for that…’

Then Ambikananda stressed the greatness of Sri Ramakrishna: ‘It was so good of Guru Dev to tell us that just “one sixteenth” of practice will be enough[1]. God, God, God, what a boon, what a clarification, what a clarified butter you lot have got for the last 25 years! You have got the real clarified butter, so all you have to do with that ghee is pour it and make a homa fire, a sacrifice of your life at the end, the mendicant stage, smear your body and “roam about in great delight”, isn’t it? There’s nothing much we have kept secret. In fact it’s given so blatantly that you don’t even appreciate it.  It all goes like sound and music, but quite a bit is given if you examine. Not everything is put into mantric form that is perfect, but at least it is there more or less, a clue is given. Either you reach the goal or you deviate. If you have no onepointedness you deviate, go back to zero, to earthplane…

‘I have so much faith in what I do. Just trust and believe. …It’s a mysterious place where I live,[2] many things are happening there because I am a worker. But I am detached. Lots of released souls come and show themselves to me in thankfulness. Though I am not Christian I send a prayer to those in purgatory, and a lot benefit. It’s not selfish, not personal. Our place can be big, huge, but it’s all for somebody else. Jesus is always there.’

At the end he referred to his experience at Himlaya Ashram in June 1971, witnessed by several devotees, when he was ‘bouncing’ from lower to higher realms, and ‘saw the Virgin with child, and the Virgin gave me that Hallelujad – that’s her word. She took it and gave it to Quintessence.’

[1] See  Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

[2] Glen Lodge

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